This is another recipe from BBC Good Food, which seriously has to be the best recipe resource on the Internet. I was looking for a warming casserole that was perhaps a bit different to the ones I had already done and after reading the comments on this one, I decided to give it a go as it sounded like a winner, and it was!
I had a small false-start in that I made a crucial error by not reading the recipe in advance. ALWAYS read the recipe in advance. That way you will know that it’s going to take two hours to cook and start making it earlier…
This was the perfect dish for using Christmas-type leftovers – the jar of chestnuts I had in the cupboard had been sitting there since last Christmas (s’okay, they were dated 2013). Plus things like carrots, onions are normally always in plentiful supply in my house. I more of less stuck to the recipe however as you will see from the above photo, I did veg it up a bit by adding in some button mushrooms. I thought they would beef it up a bit and work perfectly in this dish and they did so I would definitely do that again.
The beef came out wonderfully tender after being slow-cooked for two hours and the chestnuts adding a nice texture.
This recipe serves two but can easily be doubled.
Beef, chestnut & red wine casserole
450g beef (braising or similar)
1 onion, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
300ml beef stock (fresh or from a cube)
2 carrots, sliced
250ml red wine
200g cooked, peeled chestnuts
150g button mushrooms
Cut the beef into cubes and toss into seasoned flour. Fry the beef cubes in a small casserole dish in a little oil over a high heat until they are browned.
Add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes until they start to brown slightly. Remove the leaves from the sprigs of thyme and add to the casserole dish along with the wine and stock. Bring to the boil and turn down the heat. With the lid on the dish, simmer for one hour.
Add the carrots, chestnuts and mushrooms to the casserole dish. Season and cook gently for a further hour with the lid off.
I served this with a pile of fluffy mashed potato but this would also be lovely with roast potatoes and Mr M thought it would make a rather tasty pie filling so I might try that next time!
Word of advice. If you can, avoid buying fresh chestnuts that you have to cook and peel. Honestly, it’s the biggest faff and hassle. The cooked and peeled chestnuts in a jar or vacuum-pack are way, way easier.